Nostalgia Corner #1 (Or, How I Frittered Away My Childhood)
Boys find themselves fascinated with all kinds of wonderful and idiotic pastimes, from collecting baseball cards to working on cars. For me, there was no greater thrill than walking to the local 7-11 once a week to pick up the latest Archie comic books.
I am not saying that girls devoted themselves to more worthwhile pursuits. Who knows what they did? Learned how to cook? Played with dolls? Knitted and sewed? I have no idea. If you're a woman, please enlighten me. But I do know the kind of things that boys got up to, and I know I wasn't the only kid who spent a truly alarming chunk of his time lost in a cartoon universe that featured Archie Andrews, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle, Jughead Jones and Betty Cooper. They were my friends, all of them born 20 years before me, in the pages of Pep Comics #22. My years of readership were most likely in the late 1960s to early 1970s, when the innumerable titles were still gaining in readership: Everything's Archie, Betty & Veronica, Laugh, Pep, Reggie & Me, Jughead, Archie's Pals & Gals, and so on. The comics were about a quarter apiece, and they were extremely addictive. I had a large chest in my room where I kept my comics, which are all back to being part of the soil by now.
But as I have already underscored in this blog, the Internet comes to the rescue once again as I attempt to glue the broken pieces of my adolescence back together again. In an eBay auction that ended on Jan. 17, I found myself the winner of more than 125 different Archie comics originally published in the early 1970s. Take a look:
They arrived via UPS on Friday, so I've had a couple of days to page through many of them and feel the nostalgic rush. There's nothing quite like reacquainting yourself with the lost innocence of childhood.
I'll admit it's odd that at this stage of my life, I would willingly devote hours to doing something I already did in my early teens. But I'll forgive myself, because with the passing of years, I have forgotten a lot of Archie's exploits with his "pals and gals," to say nothing of spinoff buddies like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie & the Pussycats. I will allow myself to enjoy my childhood again. Yes, there are books on my shelf that I want to read. Worthy books. Books I haven't already read. But you know what?
They're simply going to have to wait their turn.
Did you read comic books? What were your teenage pastimes?